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Phaleran number

From:Thomas R. Wier <artabanos@...>
Date:Saturday, August 4, 2001, 5:55
Okay, so I said I've been working a little (very little) on Phaleran.
Here're some new features, in a couple posts.

Nominal Number

Number is an obligatory feature for Phaleran nouns. All
nouns must be either singular or plural.  Singular is marked
by the null morpheme, while plurals lexically take on three
main forms:

    (1) direct suffixation of -na-, with attendant allomorphy
        with grammatical case;
    (2) reduplication;
    (3) and suppletion.

-na- is by far the most common, and only productive, pluralizer:

    phaiþar 'country'               phaiþarna    'countries'
    pû        'boy'                     puna           'boys'
    k'orwu   'treasonous act'   k'orwuna     'treasonous acts'

This suffix is placed before any case endings.  Before some
case endings, the suffix takes on the allomorph -nâ-, which
historically represents the loss of a following /e/:

    geni            'hereditary land-holding'
    genina        'hereditary land-holdings'
    geninânto    'with/by the hereditary land-holdings'

(/a:/ is phonemic in Phaleran).  Reduplication is somewhat more
complicated.   No longer a productive process, it was massively
productive several centuries ago, and still affects lexical classes
like body parts, most family relations, and most animate nouns
(excluding lower orders of life like sea-slugs, most plants, arthropods,
etc.).  However, the template that results in the reduplicant operates
under stricter phonological rules than does the rest of the phonology:
typologically marked phonemes like glottalic consonants and long
vowels are simplified, as are consonant clusters:

    t'olka    'arm'                        tot'olka    'arms'
    nemes    'sister'                     nenemes   'sisters'
    yamna    'son-in-law'            yayamna    'sons-in-law'
    fû           'domesticated         fufû           'dom. owls'
    tlîna        'black bear'            titlîna         'black bears'
    thuran    'imperial janissary'   tuthuran     'imp. janissaries'

N.B.:  the <Xh> digraph represents aspiration; the <X'> represents

[I have not actually yet worked out OT-style constraints to show
ultimately how these work, but I plan on doing so].  Suppletion is
fairly rare:

    selkh'oru       'cow'                haili        'cows'
    aiathi             'stone'              essom     'stones'
    kwâ              'ward' (pol.       surra       'wards'

Incidentally, these data also illustrate an interesting aspect of
Phaleran phonology:  the prototypical foot is bimoraic, and
every word must have at least one foot.  Phaleran does this
by requiring all words to be at least two morae long.  It is for
this reason we see _pû_ in the singular, but _puna_ in the plural,
since the underlying form is simply /pu/.

Any comments?

Thomas Wier | AIM: trwier

"Aspidi men Saiôn tis agalletai, hên para thamnôi
  entos amômêton kallipon ouk ethelôn;
autos d' exephugon thanatou telos: aspis ekeinê
  erretô; exautês ktêsomai ou kakiô" - Arkhilokhos


Marcus Smith <smithma@...>